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Part 3 - Skills for future growth

Skills for Future Growth

We want to work with emerging businesses, their supply chains, academia and skills providers to prepare a comprehensive future skills programme.

Action Plan aim:

8. Improve digital skills for residents across the Ashfield District

What we already have and do

  • Ashfield Innovation Centre’s in Sutton and Kirkby Library will be available for residents as “Digital Hubs” in order to complete IT training. Lead provider will be Inspire and the focus will be delivering basic Level 1 IT courses, ensuring residents have the digital literacy they need for life and work.
  • Inspire will be operating a mobile IT provision across the district which will offer the same IT provision as the Innovation centres. They will aim to go to harder to reach communities within the district
  • Adult Education Budget Providers such as Inspire, Futures and Academy Transformation Trust Further Education (ATTFE), based at Sutton Academy, deliver basic IT and IT Level 1 courses, which is free for adults aged 19+
  • Citizens Online is available for residents to access and improve their IT skills.
  • Department for Work and Pensions have “Digital Hubs” provision in their Job centre premises, and is tailored around digital inclusion. Accessible to those that were unable to access IT services whilst in COVID-19 lock down and tiering periods.
  • DBC Training deliver the iProgramme 1.1 and 1.2 which is medium level IT provision for unemployed residents and businesses work forces.
  • Local Enterprise Partnership (D2N2) are delivering fully funded “Digital Skills Bootcamps” which will include programmes to achieve higher level digital skills. This will be for the unemployed and businesses workforce. This will be from the new National Skills Fund (launched full April 2021).
  • Vision West Notts College has secured a mobile training facility in the shape of an electric vehicle that will be visiting partner colleges, local schools and community centres (including Sutton and Kirkby libraries) to introduce individuals to this developing automation and robotics skills.
  • Vision West Notts College’s Automation & Robotics courses at the Engineering Innovation Centre will be available for residents that need advanced IT provision and learn how to operate and collaborate with automation and robotics.

What we need to do

Ensure all residents have the digital skills required for life & work:

8.1: Discover Ashfield to engage with schools to ensure digital literacy is part of their curriculum. Also, to ensure they have knowledge of the digital skills journey that is available in Ashfield

8.2: Ensure Adult Skills Strategic Partnership (including DWP) customers with no digital qualifications are accessing the basic, Level 1, and International Computer Driving License (ICDL) IT provision that is available through the Adult Education Budget and UK Shared Prosperity Funding.

8.3: Engage with Libraries/Inspire and gather impact data of how many are accessing the Innovation centres in Libraries and mobile provision in the harder to reach communities (tackling the improvement of digital exclusion)

8.4: Ensure Adult Skills Strategic Partnership (including DWP) customers are accessing the Vision West Notts College Automation and Robotics offer; through the courses available at the Engineering Innovation Centre and the mobile training facility.

8.5: Ensure the Automation/Robotics mobile provision is travelling to local schools.

Action Plan aim:

9. Graduate retention schemes are in place for businesses and students in Ashfield

What we already have and do

  • “Enterprising Ashfield” project will be delivered from a new business hub based in Sutton. Nottingham Trent University deliver the “Graduate Talent” programme, offering short-term, part funded Graduate Placement opportunities for local businesses.
  • Derby University’s “Driven” programme is available for small to medium-sized enterprises, to receive funding for hiring a University of Derby graduate. Included is help with recruitment including: free advertising, job advert creation, job promotion, sifting, and interview support.
  • Local universities can offer funding to help small to medium-sized enterprises recruit graduates and talent through several support streams.
  • Local universities offer the “Productivity through Innovation” programme, providing graduates to help businesses develop an innovative project.

What we need to do

Find out the Universities that Ashfield students are studying from:

9.1: Obtain this data set from Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on a yearly basis. Add this data set to Part 1 “Annex of Indicators” part of the Education and Skills Improvement Plan.

9.2: Ashfield District Council to engage with the careers teams of these Universities that have Ashfield students. Potentially through a periodic tele kit, where these Universities can dial in and receive the latest economic intelligence within the Ashfield district.

Ensure businesses and Universities are working collaboratively to ensure graduate matching is taking place:

9.3: D2N2 Universities (that have Ashfield students) in business networking forums

9.4: Explore creating an online Ashfield graduate jobs portal, where Ashfield businesses can post their higher skilled vacancies for local undergraduates and postgraduates to access. Graduates will be able to set up an account and upload their CV.

9.5: Promote the Graduate Jobs Portal with the Universities Careers Teams that have Ashfield undergraduates.

9.6: Ensure all D2N2 Universities Graduate Retention programmes (eg: NTU Graduate Talent Programme, Driven, and Productivity through Innovation) are being promoted to local businesses.

Action Plan aim:

10. Collaboration and partnership working with providers is in place

What we already have and do

  • Ashfield’s “Health and Wellbeing Partnership” is in place, with its aim for the partnership to work collaboratively in order to reduce economic inactivity within the Ashfield district. Also to develop community projects which will improve social inclusion in the area.
  • Love Where You Live: Primary Schools Partnership has been formed, which is chaired by Discover Ashfield. Consisting of local primary schools. This partnership shares best practice to improve education and careers provision within the primary schools. The schools are also linked to local community projects.
  • Succeed in Ashfield: Secondary Schools Network has been formed, which is chaired by Discover Ashfield. Consisting of local secondary schools. This Network shares best practice to improve education and careers provision within the primary schools. The schools are also linked to community projects, as well as businesses to help shape the curriculum based on their skills needs.
  • Ashfield’s “Adult Skills Strategic Partnership” has been formed, which is chaired by Ashfield District Council. This collaboration consists of Further Education, Higher Education and Adult Educational organisations that deliver employment and skills services to Ashfield residents. This partnership shares best practice to improve employment and skills provision within the Higher, Further and Adult Educational sectors. The partnership is also linked to businesses to help shape programmes based on their recruitment and workforce development needs.
  • D2N2 People and Skills board involves partners working collaboratively across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Data is shared in this arena and partners discuss how to improve important priorities in the area.
  • Department for Work and Pensions involvement has been set up in Ashfield’s “Adult Skills Strategic Partnership” meetings. Department for Work and Pensions talk about programmes and key priorities from Ashfield’s Job centre claimant count.
  • Nottinghamshire County Council are involved in Ashfield’s “Adult Skills Strategic Partnerships” to discuss their services and also development of the new Multiply programme.

What we need to do

To improve the local Primary Education, Secondary Education, Further Education (FE), Higher Education (HE) and Adult Skills offer, develop partnership arrangements that enable providers and employers to work together more collaboratively

10.1: Ensure the Love Where You Live: Primary Schools Partnership has clear objectives and Primary School’s are working collaboratively to improve their primary education provision.

10.2: Ensure the Succeed in Ashfield: Secondary Schools Network has clear objectives and the Secondary School’s are working collaboratively to improve their secondary education provision.

10.3: Ensure the Adult Skills Strategic Partnership has clear objectives and the educational organisations in the partnership are working collaboratively to improve their Adult Skills provision.

  • Action completed: 23rd May 2022

10.4: Encourage Ashfield’s Adult Skills Strategic Partnership can secure funding and work together to promote vocational routes.

10.5: Encourage partnerships that collaborate for the same solution – specifically are able to work together to bid for funding that links provision, pastoral care and employers

10.6: Ashfield District Council to create a “Career Boost” resources for local residents, which will include the employment and skills programmes in the district. This will be updated every quarter. Ashfield’s Adult Skills Strategic Partnership to ensure this local resources is kept up to date.

  • Action completed: 1st August 2022

10.7: Ensure “Career Boost” includes case studies from residents that have had a positive impact from the Education and Skills offer.

10.8: Ensure the partnerships have the tools to extract economic intelligence and labour market information and are working collaboratively to shape services to improve economic data.

10.9: Ensure the partnerships are delivering employment and skills provision based on future needs.

10.10: Ensure economic intelligence is embedded into the partnership meetings agendas.

  • Action completed: 23rd May 2022

10.11: Partnerships to regularly explore gaps/low resource in skills provision (through partner/business feedback). Discuss collaboratively available funding pots that can support these services being delivered.

10.12: Arrange annual awards ceremony for the partnerships, inviting local residents and businesses to attend to share good news stories.